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Speaking Out: The perfect plan starts with trust

By  Andrea D'Souza, Youth Speak News
  • February 5, 2020

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

- From the poem The Summer Day, by Mary Oliver

I have been thinking a lot about the future lately. 

Maybe it’s because I am graduating soon and like many in their last term of university a question I often get asked is this (dreaded) one: What are your plans for when you are done? 

It was all too easy for me to give into the pressure of needing to have my future all figured out. So, I took to the drawing board and spent countless hours mapping out different possibilities, planning and planning till my brain hurt. 

What I realized through this process was interesting. Brainstorming and networking only momentarily satiated my anxiety and even though I felt like there were now more options to consider, I didn’t feel the thing I was looking for the most — peace. 

Anxiety about the future can very easily become paralyzing in the present. 

In the midst of this there is one thing that we have to remember: The One who holds us also holds our future, safe and secure in His hands. 

So, what does learning to trust God in this unique season look like? 

Planning for the future does not mean forgetting the present. I believe it is important to ask ourselves these questions: Where is God with me now? What is He calling me to today? How can I be faithful where I am at? 

During my time at Madonna House in Combermere, Ont., experiencing its unique community of love, prayer and service, I came across an important phrase: The duty of the moment. The duty of this moment, not the next moment or the one that has just passed … this one. 

It is here where God meets us and we experience an encounter with His presence.  It is the duty of the moment. 

This doesn’t mean that we never consider the future or take initiative. (You still have to fill out that grad school application if you want to get in!). It just means that we do it out of a trust in God, that He is leading us and that He will make straight our paths. 

Ask God how He plans to use your education, but also your unique skills, talents, personality and passions for His glory. He will not let you down. 

He has a perfect plan for your life and all He needs is a willing heart, mind, body and spirit. Trusting Him is something I am learning to do. 

Something that gives me solace as I struggle with anxiety over the future is the belief that the One who is with me now is also in my future, and that as long as I keep my eyes fixed on Him, I will be OK. 

Whether I choose to spend time as a missionary in the United States, a volunteer at a retreat centre in Ireland, working in the field of community development in the global south or learning rest and stillness at home, wherever I go, whatever I do, I will be OK, because He is with me. 

If you struggle with trusting God when it comes to your future, I would suggest you spend some time reflecting on these verses and using them to start a conversation with God. 

Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” 

Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.” 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” 

And read Psalm 139!

(Dsouza, 24, is in her final year of the First Nations and Indigenous Studies program at University of British Columbia.)

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